A new project hopes to produce high-quality, color-changing wood filament for personal 3D printers.
Two engineers from Slovenia, Jure Hictaler and Rok Rudolf have developed a formula for wood-infused 3D printer filament that achieves the very high ratio of 50% wood and 50% custom polymer. While there are other wood filaments available, most have far lower ratios of wood to plastic.
The team has also pledged to deliver specific types of wood filaments: pine, spruce or beech, such that a spool of filament would contain ONLY one type of wood. And of course, it’s all biodegradable.
Here’s the really interesting part. The team has been testing the “WO-FI” filament and observed the prints having slightly different colors while printing. This has been seen before in other wood filaments. However, the team realized that when using consistent wood types, the color changing is predictable and varies explicitly by extrusion temperature!
This chart exhibits the color changing phenomenon. If this effect persists, it would be entirely possible to adapt slicing software to precisely change extruder temperatures throughout a 3D print job to infuse subtle color changes.
We think these guys are on to something. While they have evidently discovered the “hardware” part of this workflow, they will need to combine it with some coloration software for full effect.
In the meantime, why not do some experimentation with this unusual filament? For €30 (USD$32) you’ll get 500g on a spool. Larger quantities are also available, too.